Increased bone mineral density in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians: Impact of body composition differences

Louise Maple-Brown, Jaquelyne Hughes, Leonard S Piers, Leigh C Ward, J Meerkin, J Eisman, J Center, N Pocock, George Jerums, Kerin O'Dea

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    Bone mineral density (BMD) has been reported to be both higher and lower in Indigenous women from different populations. Body composition data have been reported for Indigenous Australians, but there are few published BMD data in this population. We assessed BMD in 161 Indigenous Australians, identified as Aboriginal (n=70), Torres Strait Islander (n=68) or both (n=23). BMD measurements were made on Norland-XR46 (n=107) and Hologic (n=90) dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) machines. Norland BMD and body composition measurements in these individuals, and also in 36 Caucasian Australians, were converted to equivalent Hologic BMD (BMD H) and body composition measurements for comparison.Femoral neck (FN) and lumbar spine Z-scores were high in Indigenous participants (mean FN Z-score: Indigenous men +0.98, p<0.0001 vs. mean zero; Indigenous women +0.82, p<0.0001 vs. mean zero). FN BMD H was higher in Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander than Caucasian participants, after adjusting for age, gender, diabetes and height and remained higher in men after addition of lean mass to the model. We conclude that FN BMD is higher in Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Australians than Caucasian Australian reference ranges and these differences still remained significant in men after adjustment for lean mass. It remains to be seen whether these BMD differences translate to differences in fracture rates.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)123-130
    Number of pages8
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012


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